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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Flavours of Bangkok -III- Fresh & juicy

The four- five days that I spent in Bangkok, if I had to list down the things that appealed and impressed me, I could count them on one hand. 

And one of them was the number of fresh fruit stalls and bottles of fresh fruit juices that I came upon almost everywhere on the street. Be it the pavement, outside Wat Pho, along the way to the jetty to head to Wat Arun and in ChatuChak market as well. Am sure this system is followed everywhere and you will find these colourful sealed bottles all across the town. 

Not only where the street hawkers selling juices, but they also had fresh fruits/slices being sold in packets everywhere. In the market, I also came upon strawberry-vanilla shakes. Most of them were priced around 20-30Baht and were chill and fresh.. No added sugar, no preservatives.. And the bottles were small enough that you could just hold the bottle in your hand and sip on it as you walked around. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Colony, Raintree, St Mary's road

Hello. Am sure your appetite has been whetted enough by now.  If it hasn't, then scroll back all the way to the top and down again making sure to spend atlas 3-5 secs on each image.. :-)) 

Golly, was I in for a treat when I walked into Colony at The Raintree, St Mary's road that beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I had visited the hotel before, but headed straight down towards Havana for Agam concert. The other restaurants here came with rave reviews but I hadn't had a chance to experience them. So, when I heard of the new revamped coffee shop, I knew I had to visit. 

The Decor

The place has a casual yet warm feel to it. The furniture is plush and comfortable, the vessels and tableware all neat and simple. The one thing that caught my eye the minute I sat down was that the table had a small pot of plant, what looked like grass and not a single flower like most places did. Quite a refreshing element. There is a beautiful wall installation on your left, make sure to check it out. Little boxes of sorts where each piece contains a slice of Chennai. It has been put together by artist Anamika..

The story
While chatting with the Manager and the Chef I came to know that the  designer who had worked on the place was Geoffrey Wilkins who is renowned for his Southern touches[hopefully I got the name right]. The tables were all dark colour while the cushions and seating were a welcoming green. We were also given a sneak peek into the history of how Colony came about, and how the entire menu has been created with Chennai flavour to it- including the decor. The Chef went on to tell about the live stations and the one item from live station changing on a  daily basis. It was either Bajji- sundal, idiyappam-fish curry or something else.  

The Food
Moving on to the main buffet, it was a simple spread. I quite liked the fact that it wasn't overloaded with dishes and there weren't a gazillion different things laid out on the table. Situated in the centre of the restaurant, the buffet sat pretty with glass shelves overhead decorated with utensils from home kitchen and cooking pots & pans.  There was also a cutlery cupboard on sorts on one wall lined with Chettinad checks pattern and quite a few vessels arranged [ just like you would find in any home]

I opened the meal with a flavour packed sweet potato soup, following which came an array of Chennaipatnam based dishes, including a platter called "Mylapore times" [2 mini dosais, 2 vadai, 4 pod idlis, 2 milagai bajji and 2 kuzhi paniyaram served with chutneys] I also sampled the vadai with mix veg chutney and soon was waltzing away to music as it were in the colonial times.  There are quite a few south indian dishes in the buffet as well, like the Chettinad kathirikai curry which was simmering away in a lava stone pot and was just amazing & hot. 

Apart from this, I loved the veg cannelloni which was one of the dishes of the day- true to its origin, it was creamy light and had a thin cheese layer on top. Moving on to the desserts, I loved the coffee walnut cake and of course the show stopper- the Tiramisu. It was served in a jar with a lid and we could have just had a portion of this and been happy as can be.

I finished the meal with a good strong south indian filter kaapi [ they also have tea/green tea, juices, soft drinks and alcohol]. It was a lunch that left me grinning away and all I wanted was a corner to snooze in. The food, the ambiance, the service really does transport you to a different era. 

An ideal place to enjoy some good food on a lazy weekend or weekday, it is also a good spot for a business meeting or catching up with friends. Incidentally, there is a lounge just outside the restaurant where you can grab a snack or some coffee in the afternoon. 

Dinner Buffet Rs. 1300+ tax
7 PM to 11 PM

Lunch Buffet Rs. 1200+tax
12:30 PM to 3 PM

Breakfast Buffet Rs. 650+tax
6:30 AM to 10:30 AM

The Raintree
#120, St Mary's Road,
Alwarpet [Off TTK Road]
Phone: 044 42252525 / 24304050

Monday, March 2, 2015

Noodle Mania at Chinatown till March 8th

Glass noodles, Udan noodles, Pad Thai noodles, vermicelli noodles.. wait there is more! Phew, the list seems endless and quite overwhelming, even for someone who enjoys her noodles.

The Noodle Mania at China town in lieu of the Chinese new year [this is the Year of the Rat] is all about showing off the various kinds of noodles and the simple yet powerful flavours from the region. Garlic, broccoli, tofu, baby corn, greens were the highlight of these dishes, not to forget Mushrooms.   
When chatting with Chef Ramkumar [who was there last evening, since the China town's chef was away in Singapore], I learnt that the Chinese value their noodles a bit too much. There is a saying that "longer the noodle, the longer the life"- which speaks volumes about their beliefs and life. I opened the evening with Dragon Heart [ a juice made with passion fruit, orange juice and grenadine syrup]

The Chinese New Year is the longest and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar and brings family members together over a grand dinner. In keeping with this, gourmets at the China Town festival can enjoy the wide range of noodles with other lip-smacking dishes. And if you thought most of the dishes would be dominated by meat, you are in for a surprise. There are so many options for vegetarians, that one is literally spoilt for choice. Accompanying the food is of course the aromatic Chinese tea [jasmine] for those who enjoy the flavour. There are also four wholesome noodle meals which are served in a clay pot with vegetables and choice of meats - lard na (Thai flat noodles topped with delicates soya bean sauce), khao suay (Burmese curried noodle) and many more.

The glass noodle soup (glass noodles simmered in a clear soup flavoured with garlic, scallions, and celery) was just wow, they also had another soup- talumein soup (traditional Chinese thick soup with mushroom, broccoli, tomato and soft noodles) on the menu. As for the main courses include China Town mee hoon (rice noodles cooked in sweet and spicy sauce with prawns ), yam mein stir fried noodles (soft noodles cooked in spicy dark soya sauce with mushroom and tofu) and chilli basil bean sheet (transparent mung bean sheets cooked in chilli and basil sauce cooked with veg /prawns or seafood), among others.

As for dessert, there are 3 dessert options- Almond darsan [ wafer thin noodles deep friend, tossed in honey and slivered almonds], the banana wontons [ tiny fried wontons with caramalised banana filling] and the coconut dim sums [ dim sum with simple coconut filling] served over a spoon of honey. I personally loved the Darsan- crisp sweet [yet not overpowering] and the crunch of the almonds. 

The festival is on till March 8th at Chinatown... 

PS: pardon the bad pictures, took them on the phone  

  1. Address: #74, Third Floor, Cathedral Road, Padupet, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600086
    Phone:044 2811 2246

  2. Meal for 2- Rs 1000 [approx]
  3. Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon App├ętit :-)